Exclusive Premiere: Trinidad James Jumps on Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' 'Uptown Funk'

Gavin Guidry
Best Bets, Artists to Watch 2013, Trinidad James

After 10 weeks at No. 1, the funky mega-hit gets a boost from the Atlanta rapper who inspired it: Trinidad James.

Just months after being dropped from Def Jam, Trinidad James is having the last word. Despite a major 2012 debut with the viral single, "All Gold Everything," the Atlanta rapper soon fell out of view. Now, he's back with a remix to one of the biggest songs of the year: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk." Listen to the new version here. 

It's a jackpot verse, and sees James sliding through smooth lyrics that play on "All Gold Everything" and "Uptown funk" ("I'm too hot, hot damn! / I like myself on Instagram"). He also namechecks Eddie Murphy, MC Hammer and Beyonce, and even throws shade at his former label: "Covered in gold, you know who I am… thank Def Jam for that money."

If you caught yourself wondering why Trinidad James was tapped for the guest verse, you aren't alone. But to attentive listeners (and careful combers of songwriting credits), the pairing makes perfect sense. "Uptown Funk's" catchy chorus lyric, "don't believe me just watch," is actually a nod to "All Gold Everything," and James is even credited on Ronson's original song as a writer under his real name, Nicholas Williams. 

The remix comes at a time when "Uptown Funk" seems unstoppable. Since its release in October, the single has spent 10 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, a feat only accomplished by 3 percent of the chart's No. 1 hits. It also broke both the US and worldwide records for the highest number of streams in one week, with 4.8 million (US) and 15 million (worldwide). 

Executives close to Ronson confirm that the song will be pushed to urban and rhythmic radio beginning the week of March 16.